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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I think I speak for everyone here when I say, 'Huh?'"
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March 10 2010

Thirteen years ago today... Into every generation -- well, by now you already know the rest.'s brief look back at the humble beginnings of the show we all know and love.

Also, Alyson Hannigan tweets about it here.

This is pretty much my first post ever (well,'s not like I'm an Internet shut-in), so apologies if it's not quite up to par! I figured SOMEBODY will be willing to correct me if that ends up being the case. :)
13? I'm so old!! Sorry her warning wasn't enough! I was 10 when I watched this so it's not too bad...But I didn't watch til Witch...thankfully they had a rerun of the pilot that weekend! And it changed tv viewing for me...higher standards...better pop culture understandings...embracing the nerditude of life!!
Thanks Joss!! You are now the proud parent of a prepared!!!
welcome Axed!! That's quite a good start!!
I think the thing that freaks me out is that, as of sometime around autumn of last year, the show has been off the air longer than it was on.
Haha, thanks BlueSkies! :)
One need only look at last Wednesday's discussion of Buffy #33 to see that Buffy fever still exists.
Nothing before or since has moved me the way that show did. I'm forever grateful I watched it from its inception.

Thank you Joss. I appreciate you.
I started watching this show in its second season, when I was eight. I believe--though I'm not 100% sure--that Reptile Boy was my first episode. And this show is pretty much the reason I'm in film school right now, hoping to become a TV writer. So thanks, Buffy and everyone who worked on it.
wows, i feel oooold right now. i was 14 when this premiered but I dont remember what episode/season I started with. I believed it was (please forgive me!) going to be a lame show because of the movie. Im glad my friend got me into watching it.
Jobo... after getting my degree I turned down jobs and postgrad offers to postgrad in film for the same reasons!! Damn Joss is convincing!!!
My first episode? "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date." Hooked from then on. After the first season, they re-ran the pilot as a two-hour deal, taped it, and I taped every episode from that point forward, for seven seasons.

Ah, life before DVDs...
I was in my 20s when it started. To this day, my favorite TV series of all time. I re-watch the DVDs constantly.
I've watched Buffy since the beginning and i feel quite old looking back on it even though im not old myself, but 13 years is a long time ago.
Can you believe that i was about 5 when i first watched it! and since then i've become hooked on the show and it has stayed my favourite ever since.
It's nice to know that some things havent changed in 13 years and thats my love for Buffy.
Heh :). I have a framed copy of the promo poster for the premiere hanging on my wall and just looking at it makes me feel old ;).

I watched Buffy back when the first season aired on Dutch television (I think this was when S2 was airing in the US), and when it got canceled halfway through S2 ('The Dark Age' was the last one aired), I started involving myself in the online Buffy fandom.

I kept up with the show by reading episode summaries and transcripts, and - later - watching the show online in tiiiiny realmedia windows and, even later, having a fellow fan I met online mail me actual videotaped versions of the episodes I was missing. It was the first time I got that involved with anything (it also coincided with the first time I got internet access; possibly not a coincidence ;)).

All in all, Buffy played an important part in my life, just as it did with others here. Through Buffy I learned how to critique fiction (and am currently a parttime movie critic because of it). It also forced me to write and express my thoughts in written form, which led to my love of writing essays and non-fiction, which then made me take my first journalism class, which led to me now being a popular science journalist. I might have gotten round to discovering that interest/talent anyway, but becoming an active Buffy fan certainly sped things up.

So yeah: thanks for everything, Buffy. Life wouldn't have been the same without you :).
Add me to the list of people who went to film school to be a TV writer because of Buffy...
Wow, can't believe it's been thirteen years already. Time for a Buffy marathon!
I've watched since the beginning too (I was 21 then by the way)! Fell in love immediately with the writing and the characters. Changed the way I watch TV as well, I'm a thousand times pickier than I used to be and I compare *everything* to the quality of Buffy and all of Joss's creations...which of course nothing really does compare. ;)

Thank you Joss. Love you always. :)
Why is #13 getting so much attention today? Have there been similar celebrations in prior years?
My daughter was six. she got me watching it around "the Pack," but she dropped out around "Yoko Factor" so I didn't pick up on S-5 until after my marriage broke up. Which was when I needed it most: "I owe you pain!" reminded me love could be real, when I needed reminding.

As a cyberfriend says elsewhere, I miss these characters.
Well, when I heard that they were making Buffy the Vampire Slayer into a TV series, I expelled breath through my lips to pfff-like effect and declared it could never--never--be as good as the movie. Which I'd watched twice. Then the girlfriend and I saw Sarah Michelle do the single greatest hosting gig in televisual history on SNL and decided to give the show a chance. And it immediately became appointment viewing for me and the girlfriend, then fiance, then missus. Bestestshowever.
Axed84, since 1984 was 13 years before the premiere, and today is 13 years after, you were destined to make this post.

Or not. But good job anyhoo!
I was about 10 or so and my first BTVS episode was Hush, been hooked ever since :) thanks Joss
Pointy, I like the way you think. I was Chosen.

Or not. ;)

[ edited by Axed84 on 2010-03-11 02:44 ]
That is incredible to think it's been that long. Buffy was and is today simply amazing, it got me at impressionable age as well when I was just a kid so I have been hooked long as I can remember almost. I started watching from the beginning because i was determined to like a gothic horror show about vampires and all creatures of the night cause I thought they were all so cool as a kid. I soon learned to love the show for an entirely different purpose, the characters and plot, all because it had true substance. I still love all those things that go bump in the night but it's nothing compared to my love for this show. Congrats to Joss and everyone involved in it's entire run. You touched my soul and changed my life and have my eternal gratitude. :)

(Axed84, first swing and you hit it out of the park! Nice work.)
13 years ago, wow! I started with the first episode and it was such a big part of my life ever since. :) The first season I had to watch on my tiny TV with horrible reception in my dorm room. I still watched though, sometimes holding onto the rabbit ears to see, lol. Buffy was addictive from the very beginning.
Back in the day I thought nothing would top my personal favorite of "Babylon 5"... and then came "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." I have yet to see a show that moves me as much as Buffy.

If I could somehow be granted a TV miracle wish, it would be for a Buffyverse continuation with Joss at the helm. Sadly, I've resigned myself to a strange combination of the Season 8 comic and "Willow and Tara" fanfic. :)
Ah, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The first episode I watched was Angel, in April 1997. My children talked me into it (they had to, I'd seen the movie. *G*). I recognized Sarah Michelle Geller right off because my mom watched All My Children. What I liked about it was the witty dialogue and of course, vampires! After it was over, I asked my children if they'd been recording the episodes and we had our first Buffy marathon that night.

Somehow it just doesn't seem like it's been that long ago.
I started watching Buffy since the beginning with my college roommates. Doesn't quite feel like 13 years.
I was 14 when I started watching this! But that was about two years ago, so yeah...
I was 14 when I started watching BTVS too Crishham! And I just turned 16 five days ago, we're Buffy timeline twins, lol.
I love Buffy so much, no other story can make me laugh, cry, and be incredibly obsessive like Buffy. Also no story can make me think or inspire me as much. I spent my whole life wanting to write novels and then BTVS came along and now I'm always day-dreaming about screen-writing on a long-running TV series just like it.
Nothing compares to how much I love BTVS, here's to many more years of Buffyness! Even if it is just in comic form. I hope Season 8 ends well! I for one, would adore a live action Fray movie since I think it's pretty much too late for much else.
I was 25 when Buffy started airing. I did not see my first Buffy episode until, wait for it, the re-run of Once More With Feeling, which aired the week before Seeing Red. Seeing Red was the first first run episode I'd ever seen of Buffy. I caught up after that with the DVD's and I think I'm still paying them off. :)
Perversely, I actually liked the movie. When the series first came out I tried watching a few episodes of the first season and was so underwhelmed I didn't watch it again until four years later when my girlfriend insisted it was a great show deserving of a second chance. I was skeptical, but agree to watch the episode she had recorded. It was "Fool for love", and absolutely blew my socks off. I immediately set on a quest to catch up and have since come to regard it as one of the best series I've had the privilege to watch.(Except for season one, which I still find challenging to sit through...)
I muted the song (you youngsters and your rock & roll music) but the editing is awesome on KaileeA42's main homepage video, which is pretty much perfect for this occasion.

[ edited by Pointy on 2010-03-11 05:31 ]
I saw bits and pieces of episodes, but I finally sat down watched a full episode with "The Body" and was completely blown away and realized right away that this wasn't a typical tv show. After watching a few more episodes, all of which were repeats as the last season of Buffy had recently aired, I stopped watching and started from the beginning with the first season on DVD.

In just under a year, my wife and I watched all 7 seasons of Buffy, followed by Firefly and then Angel. I remember I finished season 4 of Angel just a week or two after season 5 came out on DVD. It was really incredible to watch it all together and all at once like that. Of course, the flip side was that it sucked when it was all over and there was the long wait until the Serenity movie.
I also started watching at the beginning, and also consider Buffy the greatest TV show ever made. I don't think anything could possibly move me as much as Buffy did, though if Joss is ever given more than 2 seasons on another show, it's possible.

I think it's time to celebrate... what episode should I watch... hmm...
guidedby, I'd suggest Welcome to the Hellmouth. There's nothing quite like hearing Buffy say "Live in the now. You look like DeBarge."
13 years? The show has been on for almost exactly half my life. I arrived late to the party, a story I've told here often enough; thank goodness for my friends.

I remember those early days. Someone had Season 1 pirated on their computer, and then scrounged up the Season 2 DVDs for me, but after that I had to scrounge Season 3 through various means (I had "The Wish," "Earshot," and "Doppelgangland" on my hard drive for a while, but the sound wouldn't work on "DGL" -- sheer torture!), and then marathon whenever I was near someone with the next ones in sequence. Despite having seen OMWF first of all and "Fool for Love/Darla" in my first couple of weeks of watching, I insisted on seeing them all in order.

And then I got past "Tabula Rasa" and saw the rest, mostly unspoiled....

Frankly, every time I think about the beginning, and then think about the end... I get vertigo. They covered so much ground.
I was 16 and I remember going into my parents' room to talk to my mom one night, but she got a phone call. I sat down to wait for her and idly turned my attention to the show she had playing on her TV. An hour later my mom was still on the phone and I hadn't moved. I was mesmerized, this despite the fact that the episode in question was "I Robot, You Jane". I mean, really. But despite the cheesiness of Moloch I was in love, and I watched faithfully for the next seven years. Even during Angel s.5 when I had moved across the country and didn't have cable my oh so nice parents would tape the new episodes, sending me a box full of Angel VHS tapes every few weeks. The Buffyverse was the rare (only?) obsession my mother and I shared.

I'm also lucky in the sense that I'm the same age as the Scoobies (2 weeks older than Buffy, not to sound delusional or la la), so I got to literally experience all the same rites of passage right along with them (true fact: my ex-boyfriend was only slightly less evil than Angelus).

Also, the only thing that makes me feel old is all these tiny little people saying how old they feel. You were FIVE?! (On the hood of a POLICE CAR?!! TWICE?!)

Coincidentally I also loved the movie when it came out and my childhood best friend and I would walk around saying "Excuse much, rude or anything?" and something about marrying Christian Slater and moving to Europe. I had no idea then that Buffy would come to mean so much to me, which I think is kind of neat.

Sorry for the rambles, I just love reading about how everyone discovered Buffy and wanted to share my own experience. Also, this is my first time ever commenting here after reading for ages and ages so, hi.
I didn't watch it since the beginning.

I remember in 1998 when it was on open tv here in Brazil (we usually get US tv shows on cable), and my sister used to watch it and I looked at it and went "what's this shit you're watching?" (because I was 12 and dumb, and I only wanted to annoy my sister).

Then in 2000 when we got cable season 3 and 4 were on re-run everyday and one day, during "Graduation Day - part II", my sister started to cry, cause Angel was leaving, and I looked at the tv and thought "Why is she crying over this? Let me pay attention...", and since then I never stopped watching it. I watched Season 3, then 4, and then 5 started and I started to follow every week (and started to watch Angel too). Only after S5 that I got to watch S1 and 2...

Buffy will always be my favorite tv show ever. It changed my life... well, better said, it changed me. I grew up with it. It helped me figure out a lot about myself. And it introduced me to this whole new world of stuff that I deeply love today.

13 years, 10 for me... doesn't feel like it.
I'll always love this show.
I wish I had a nifty story about watching Buffy as a kid - I was 12 at the time - but unfortunately at that point I was still eleven years away from discovering that not all television was a complete waste of time. Still, it's been a lot of fun reading all this reminiscing. Keep it up ;)
I would have been 9-almost-10 when it started airing, but I didn't really start watching until I was 17 in the summer of 2004 on syndication for both series (I hadn't even heard of AtS, so I spotted Spike randomly when Hell Bound was showing on TNT and figured out that it was the same franchise). Yes, right after Angel got canceled. My timing sucks!

Before I got the DVDs for Christmas 2005, I was obsessively taping episodes and having panic attacks when I missed episodes like Prophecy Girl due to having to go to visit friends in Show Low, AZ. I also missed Benediction and Fool For Love somehow and they were among the episodes that I didn't see until I got the DVDs. I also saw AtS season 4 completely on DVD, which I watched for the first time in 2 days (my record is the entirety of BtVS season 2 in 1 day--all 22 episodes!). But I spent 4-6 hours a day watching those shows in syndication on FX and TNT for months. It was so frustrating to not have the DVDs! I watch faster than that!

I actually had seen part of Go Fish (the cafeteria scene), the end of I Was Made To Love You and most of Smashed years earlier, but they didn't make me watch and I actually made fun of the show from what I had heard of it.

Due to the fact that I saw the tail end of The Yoko Factor through Chosen before I ever saw the early seasons, it explains why I was first introduced entirely to the Angel character on AtS until BtVS swung back around.

Happy 13th birthday! Despite the "unlucky" number, it's one of my favorites and easily one of the coolest.

[ edited by NileQT87 on 2010-03-11 09:34 ]
I was around 10 years old I think. Hard for me to remember because I knew about the show (from ads and catching snippets here and there) for a while, but never got into it. Then I watched S2's ep "Halloween" and was instantly hooked. Greatest show ever! Still watch it nearly everyday.

So thanks Joss! and everyone involved with the show. And Marti Noxon for writing that particular episode.

[ edited by Kaan on 2010-03-11 09:36 ]
I was 7 years old when Welcome to the Hellmouth aired and I still remember watching it with my sister and being blown away by how cool I thought the Master looked, and having a massive crush on SMG who I thought was totally awesome! Hee! I remember being so anxious to see The Harvest the next night (In Australia they showed Welcome to the Hellmouth and The Harvest over two nights) after Buffy was about to be bitten by Luke.

After that I never looked back and have followed this show religiously ever since. S1 and S2 of BtVS just remind me of my childhood and how I used to get so excited every Monday to watch Buffy at 7PM (before it was moved to 10:30 in late S2) and I used to play with my action figures pretending they were Buffy. I still remember watching Innocence with my mum and being so scared I had to look away when Buffy hugged Angelus in his apartment, not knowing he had lost his soul. I remember thinking he was going to bite her and I couldnít take it haha.

At the time I had no idea that 13 years later Iíd still be watching this show and obsessing over it. Iíll never love any show like I loved Buffy.
I saw the movie when it came to VHS and thought that it had a certain camp charm, but immediately wrote the show off when I heard that a TV series of the same name was being made. And to be fair, the majority of movies that turn into TV shows have not been very good at all.

I continued to hear interesting things about the show, but delayed watching for as long as possible until I finally relented and turned it on one night. The episode showing was "The Body" and I couldn't believe that anyone would find that type of show enjoyable. I had heard that Buffy was witty and fun, but I really didn't get that sense from "The Body". So I figured that If that was what Buffy was like every week then I wanted no part of it.

But I soon read some great early reviews for Firefly, watched that from the beginning and due to how much I enjoyed it was eventually convinced to give BtVS another chance, this time from the beginning. I did enjoy it much better the second time. :)
I was 17 when it first aired (God, am I old). I did watch from the initial airing of the pilot, and kept watching afterwards even though I mocked it for its occasional silliness. I know I didn't watch very faithfully -- that I missed episodes and mocked the cheese, but something kept making me come back and tune it.

It wasn't until halfway into the second season that I officially became a fan. The first DVD I ever bought was season two, and the reason I bought a DVD player was to watch the show in its beautiful entirety. It remains my favorite television show ever, and possibly the most important work of fiction of my life. And I'd pretty much follow Joss Whedon forever and ever because he made this beautiful, beautiful show.

Happy birthday, BtVS.
Thirteen years - wow. I only discovered BtS and all things Joss about six years ago.

The only thing that makes me feel old is all you twenty and thirty somethings saying that you feel old. (News flash - you aren't even close). ;)

Thank you Joss, for enriching my life and more importantly, for your inestimable contribution to that tiny portion of TV that qualifies as real art.
I think i'm about 8 or 9 when they first aired it in Indonesia. But i didn't really watch it. I only watch it after i knew that Eliza (being her fan since Tru Calling) worked with Joss for Dollhouse. Then, i remember that BtVS was quite famous here. I mean i know it but for some reasons that i don't remember i just not watching. Possibly crappy scheduling. After that i bought the DVD (pirated, i know i'm guilty but it's so cheap, and i'm broke) and watch the whole series. Maybe, i did watched Buffy back then because i'm having a very serious deja vu on several episodes like The Pack, Graduation Day, Fear Itself, and Listening to Fear.

Yeah, i'm a newcomer to Buffy but i love it so much alongside with Joss' other projects.
I started watching it with my sister when I was about twelve- Buffy was on first on sunday nights, and we would try to get our mom to let us stay home long enough to watch angel, which would make us late for church on sunday nights (joss followed by church = a great combination;) ... my dad got me a japanese pirated copy of season 7 off of ebay, and me and my sister would fight over who liked the series more- (eventually i saved up and bought the chosen collection when it came out, and am still much too obsessed with anything joss, so i'm pretty sure i won that argument;)
I'm pretty new to the whole Jossness. Saw Buffy a few years ago, and thought it was alright.
Then started really watching it about a year and a half ago, and have been sucked into pretty much everything Whedon.

BtVS is still my favorite though.
The only thing that makes me feel old is all you twenty and thirty somethings saying that you feel old. (News flash - you aren't even close). ;)

Oh, thank the gods you said this. I wasn't feeling old--I was feeling ancient.

I've repeated my introduction to Buffy so many times here that I won't do it again. But I'll take another opportunity to say thanks to Joss for the hours and hours of quality entertainment and to the founders of Whedonesque for providing such a wonderful site for discussing them.
The little asian:

Make sure you also watch Angel: the Series or you're missing half the story. ;)
I'm trying to remember when I started watching - I know I didn't right away because I don't like horror so I figured I wouldn't like Buffy. I know I started watching Angel right from season one, so I must have started watching Buffy somewhere around season 3. I do know that once I started watching, Buffy quickly became my favorite show and it still is.

Life is just not quite right when there are no Joss shows on TV. :(
Eek! I. Am. Old. At least compared to most of you. I wasn't quite 40 when Buffy started. I think that "The Body" is one of the finest hours of television ever.

I watched Buffy from the beginning and have been a Mutant Enemy fan ever since. I say ME, because since Buffy, I pay attention to the writers of television. Not just the wonderful writers of Buffy and the Whedonverse, but of good storytelling period. I thank Joss for that.

[ edited by Znachki on 2010-03-11 16:52 ]
Oh, thank the gods for znachki, palehorse, and shey!! I was reading these comments and starting to get really depressed at all the "I feel old" comments. I was in my 30s when I gave into curiosity and watched BtVS. Actually season 7 was running when I watched the first season on DVD. I've already posted here before about the "snow day" that the powers-that-be sent for the express purpose of allowing me stay home from work and watch the season in it's entirety. Sometimes being a wimpy Texan (OMG! Snow!!! Whatever shall we do?!?!) is a really good thing.
I love the fact that so many people of all ages loved this and have so much to mom watched the third season with me, the fourth had too much sex for her...bless her cotton socks!! But I was 8 when I watched the film and thought it was the greatest thing that had ever happened!! So when Sky One advertised the tv show, my friend and i, at the tender age of ten thought we were the shit knowing all about this and watching a teen show!! REBELS!! haha!! It's funny how ever since this show other Whedon lovers i've met in college and the like seem to have a different kind of bond...we all seem to know each other in a different way than even our oldest friends and lovers!! It's kinda nice to have...unlike current throw away tv...this impacted people!!
I know I've posted already on this thread...but it's just kinda awesome to hear all this!!
Joining in on the reminiscing, I was 12 when "Welcome to the Hellmouth" and "The Harvest" first aired and I remember watching it, but I'm not sure if it was the premiere or the re-run later in the season. Living in the midwest had its perks, because our local WB affiliate aired the show at 8, then I could catch the same episode again on WGN (Chicago channel that was an hour behind). So I pretty much watched every episode of Buffy twice when it first aired, up until it moved to UPN and by then I was taping each episode and designing my own box art for the vhs tapes.

I remember being blown away by the Angelus storyline during season 2 and being so concerned for all the characters. From "Passion" on, I was constantly on the edge of my seat. I recall staying up late to watch episodes that aired at 1 a.m. after basketball games and watching "Earshot" and "Graduation Day, Pt. II" out of order because they were deemed inappropriate to air the same year that the Columbine tragedy took place. My first year in high school was Buffy's first year in college. I felt an obvious disconnect from her world, but I also learned a lot about life and growing up.

Buffy's birthday episodes occasionally aired on or around my birthday, and after "Doomed" I realized that we share the same astrological sign. Like Xander, I consider Buffy to be my hero above pretty much anyone else. When "Chosen" aired, it was a huge deal. My high school graduation was a week later and I re-watched the season three finale in honor of it. When I applied for art school, I included my hand drawn season 5 vhs boxes in my portfolio. My "eye for design" was one thing the advisors pointed out as a reason for accepting me into the program. I owe a lot to Buffy, and of course Joss. No show will ever get me as involved in the fandom as Buffy and the rest of the Mutant Enemy family.

[ edited by CrazyKidBen on 2010-03-11 17:55 ]
Caught my first episode right before my 16th birthday - Season 2 - "Ted". I remember thinking, "Why did they make a TV show after such a dumb movie?" but I kept it on the screen because I thought SMG and CC were hot (yeah, I know, shallow, but hey, I was 16). I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Two episodes later, we got "Suprise"/"Innocence" and I was forever changed. I had exactly two episodes worth of investment in the show, and even with such limited background, I could feel the enormity of the episode. That's a true testiment to the quality of the show.

From that two-parter on, I was hooked. It was appointment television for me from then onward. Does anybody remember how the WB re-aired select Season 1 episodes over the summer before Season 3? I was in heaven. Watching the backstory unfold on Tuesdays, and re-watching the best of Season 2 on Wednesdays, made for a summer I'll never forget.

When I went to college, the school did not offer the WB (for a time), so (like someone else upthread) my parents taped each episode onto VHS, and I'd catch up whenever I went home.

Being roughly the same age as the major characters of the show, I feel like I grew up with them, and I could relate to them (especially Xander) in a profound way. I cannot thank Joss enough for this show - it helped me get through those rough late-teen years. I cherish my memories of enjoying the show, and I cherish the show itself. It is a part of my life forever.
Well, I was a late comer to Buffy, I was 19 when it aired and I never watched it, might have something to do with being pregnant trying to go to college yada yada. I started watching Buffy almost 3 years ago, was in a local store and they had all the seasons on sale, I picked up season 1 thinking I like Sarah Michelle Gellar and was by then an avid fan of David B from watching Bones. I had heard about the show before obviously and knew the general story line but had never watched. So that day I put Disc 1 in and watched the first episode and didn't stop until the last episode, both my husband and I were hooked. I went back to the store and bought all seven seasons, good thing I had some money... Anyway we worked our way through every season watching in the morning before getting ready for work and then at night when nothing was on and then on weekends every minute (sadly the housework was pushed to the side) My whole family loved it. After then I purchased Angel and even got sucked in more. So since then I always have my sets out and watch then when there is nothing else on, or inspiration hits and I just have to watch an episode. Sadly at this time it is harder for me to watch, my husband passed away in May of 09 at age 33 and since then everytime I put a Buffy/Angel in I think of him and all the wonderful conversations we had and reading through the watcher guides we had bought. I have yet to even try to watch the Body since I found my husband in a similar way. Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to share how very much Buffy/Angel and now the entire whedonverse has meant to me.
Thank you for sharing that, mandyjo. I have very much enjoyed reading everyone's stories - the nostalgia is palpable - but yours in particular touched me.
I was 25 when it started, but didn't start watching live until the end of season two. We held season finale parties - season 3 through 7, great memories and great community - all because of Buffy.

Thank you Joss Whedon, ME, and the cast, crew, and writers. ♥ you all!
Thanks to Joss and everyone who contributed to the awesomeness. :) I'm relatively new to Buffy but it has had a big effect on my life.
I was 12/13 when I started watching on FX out of general interest because I'd heard of Buffy. Actually my earliest memory of Buffy is from when I was really young - all I can remember is Angel being broody, dressed in his usual black, in the mansion. I can't remember if I thought he was scary or ugly (I was about 7! I love David now.) Anyway I've been obsessed ever since and I'm 17 now, although it's only in the past couple of years that the obsession has really kicked in - I can only juggle a few obsessions at a time. I can't remember my first episode or if i even watched the seasons in order, it feels like I've been watching since the beginning - it was definitely from Season 1 because I remember drooling over Angel. It didn't take me long to discover Angel either.

I used to spend every possible minute of my school holidays flicking from Buffy on FX, to Angel on Sky1, Angel on Sci-Fi then Buffy on Sky 2 and Buffy on FX again etc... I'd seriously sit there from about 10-3 watching every episode I possibly could before my mum got back from work and entered the room, annoyingly enough, just when there was some sort of sexual scene, forcing me to change channels in a split second so she didn't think I was weird. I still watch the reruns whenever I can as I have yet to get the complete boxsets.

I owe so much to Joss and co. He really turns television into a form of art and I've learned so much about writing/directing from watching his shows. He has become one of my feminist icons and I'm also a lot more critical of any television and that I see now and I can't help but compare things to his work (especially during this current vampire craze). I also find that I can relate almost anything to Joss these days - I'm often sitting in English Lit class in one of the few moments I'm not thinking about Joss' work and some idea/theme mentioned will conjure up a similar moment from Buffy/Angel/Firefly. I fear that my obsessiveness is approaching a point where it's actually unhealthy! The only problem is that I can't seem to find a single person with whom I can hold a deep, hours long conversation about Joss. Even those who are fans don't seem to be as insane as I am (you'd think in a school of 1200 pupils you'd be able to find someone as equally invested. Maybe it's becasue Twilight has got to them first) and so I have difficulty keeping it internalised when I don't have access to a computer. Sometimes I just ask friends to smile, nod and pretend they care whilst I yammer on.

What I love about Buffy/Angel/Firefly/Dollhouse is that I can soend hours thinking about moral and philosophical ideas and even though at the age of 13 I could understand what the characters were feeling, it is now that I can really identify with them at times. I love the range of emotions the shows bring out in the viewer as well: you can go from laughing, to crying, to wanting to stick your foot through the television set. Being part of the fandom also helps me maintain a degree of sanity when dealing with the mountain of work I have to do so I owe everyone here at Whedonesque as well!

[ edited by Shep on 2010-03-11 19:42 ]
Watched Buffy when it first aired on BBC 2, met my wife on the Buffy Cross & Stake boards (who knew there were sites devoted to tv shows on the web?) and my son is now 9 months old today. Wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for Buffy.
Oh Simon!! That's too sweet!!! Awww!!! Did Joss give us a happy ending after all?
My first exposure to Buffy was visiting my parents one evening and my dad is watching Buffy on the "big tv." My little sister drags me into the next room where the "small tv" is so she can tell me all about and watch Dawson's Creek. I thought these people were very strange. A few years later, the musical episode was being heavily promoted so I watched it. Again, strange. But in a good way. Now I'm a forever Buffy fan. Thank you Joss Whedon! Much love.

[ edited by tickled pink on 2010-03-11 20:37 ]
My first episode was "Hush." My little sister had been bugging my mom and I to watch for a while, and it was the summer between seasons four and five, so when she knew "Hush" was up on summer reruns she insisted that we watch it with her. As with nearly everyone above, I was hooked.

My favorite Buffy moments, though, are when I've been fortunate enough to introduce other people to Buffy. I'm a high school leader at my church and I had a bunch of the high school girls over to watch Buffy on Presidents Day since there was no school. Now half of my Buffy and Angel DVDs are making the rounds, and nothing makes me quite so happy as getting a text at midnight that reads, "Wait, what just happened? Did Angel just turn evil? Ahhhh! He's biting that girl! OMG, what's going on?!" I love that Buffy and Angel resonate just as much with current sophomores as they did with my generation.

Thank you, Joss!!
In the summer of '08, I had nothing to do. I wasn't old enough for a job and my friends were visiting their families. Bored, I decided to find something to watch on Hulu. I looked through the list of shows but found nothing much that interested me. I decided to watch BtVS out of bored, expecting it to be laughably bad.

I was wrong. I fell in love with the show after the first episode and finished the first two seasons within a week. Needing to know what happened next, I managed to get my parents to rent me season three from a local DVD trading shop. I returned it and got four, then five (which I managed to watch in less than 24 hours), six, and seven. I tried Angel, but it just didn't click. I then moved on to Firefly.

I had finished within a month. Around Thanksgiving of that year, the Chosen Collection was the Gold Box deal of the day on Amazon. Knowing how much I loved it, my grandmother bought it as an early Christmas present.

Around the time the Chosen Collection arrived, I found Whedonesque. In the early weeks of December, it was reported here that the complete Angel collection was now the Gold Box deal of the day. Deciding to give the show another shot, I asked my parents for it (as a Christmas gift) and they said no. A few weeks later, on Christmas morning, I opened my gifts to find the boxset. I thanked them and ran off to start the show. I finished in two weeks.

Like KaileeA42 (who, oddly enough, is my "timeline twin"), I had wanted to write grand, epic stories. Whedon's work inspired me. If I had decided to skip BtVS that summer day, I would have never started my stories. Thank you, Joss.

Sorry for the long post. Had to get that out there.
Years can fly and the feeling will remain the same.
I watched BTVS one year after the US and can't live without these 2 shows ( Angel will become my favorite ) since then.
No days without thinking about something Whedon related.
No days without thinking about the Buffyverse.

Thank you Joss. For everything.
I like many others on here was 10 when I first saw the show. My first episode was 'The Witch'. I never missed an episode after my first viewing and ended up watching the show with my mother until the very end.

In a lot of ways I feel that not only was I raised on Buffy but Buffy helped raise me. My father wasn't around much when I was growing up so Giles became my fatherish figure and I learned that it was okay to be myself no matter what. The show was always there for me. I enjoyed all of the show (though when I re-watch the show, which I do at least once a year, there are some episodes I skip) and am just so happy and thankful to Joss and co for making it.
I was a very precocious 42 when I first started watching the show, and most of you were just barely not embryos...

*Smushy Alert!* This thread is making me tear up. You guys are all so great. I'm so touched to see Buffy being discovered by a generation younger than myself & to hear how it affected peoples lives like it did mine.
Like a lot of other people here, I started watching Buffy at about 13. The coolest thing for me was that my life was always in synch with what was going on in the show. They graduated High school as i graduated middle school, and as I graduated college the show had it's final episodes. I was even proud when my littlest sister was born on a Buffy Tuesday! Buffy made me the devout Whedonite I am today, and I couldn't be happier (or nerdier) for it. The comics have been a welcome and exciting continuation, plus I always look like I have *nerd cred* when I go into the comic book store.

Might I also add, I've been coming to Whedonesque for a very long time as well, and everyone here makes me proud to have the same interest as so many of you!
Thirteen years later, the thing that still gets me about Buffy? Is that it still gets me, every time.

I can't tell you how many times I've re-watched these episodes, but I just watched "Helpless" the other day? Season 3. 1999. Over a decade I've lived with the knowledge of this episode.

And during that scene, where Giles tells Buffy what he did to her, and her reaction? I was right in that moment, and I just started welling up. It's crazy-ridiculous. After it's over, it's gone. But while it's playing, it gets me to that emotional place.

No other show can manage that for me. Not even other Joss-productions. Do I know why that is? Probably because, I dunno, I feel such a connection to these characters. They're so real to me, that when they hurt, I hurt. I watched them grow, change. For seven years. Every week.

That's why when people talk about the metaphor or "Joss doing his killing thing AGAIN" or whatever else, I kind of don't care. Because I'm watching lives play out. And now I'm reading about them. I recognize the writerly stuff, I love writing myself, but Buffy just engages me on this weird gut level that I can't shake.

Maybe there's something wrong with me. :=)
I am almost shameful to admit that I was a fan of the original Buffy movie so in '97 when I was 12(!) I caught the premiere on The WB. But I thought the show was scary! lol. So I didn't really keep watching the show. I saw a episode here and there and thought I had some semblance of the storyline. For some reason I thought that Angel and Spike were working for The Master, part of a vampire clan, and that Angel turned on the clan to help Buffy. Weird huh?

I didn't become a avid diehard fan until 2002 when FX started showing the Buffy reruns. I caught a episode on the local Fox channel at midnight and got HOOKED! I think it was graduation day part 1 or possibly Halloween, depending on whether it was saturday or sunday. I started recording the episodes on my vcr from FX and started visiting the UPN bronze board. I quickly got caught up on season 6(illegal downloads are sometimes good) and became a spuffy shipper. ha!

I love this show and own every season of every whedon show on dvd. I even think I'd rebuy them if they were re-released on blu ray. Buffy will always be my favorite show. 8 years later(from 2002) and I still believe that. I think this calls for a series rewatch.(again)
pat32082, you hit the nail on the head!!!

"It still gets me every time"

That is EXACTLY the sentiment I was looking for. Thank you.
I'm loving this thread. I already did my part reminiscing somewhere upthread, but I have to say I'm surprised how many of you were, like, 10 (or even below) when they started watching this show. I was still watching cartoons at that age, I think; certainly not complex tv shows. So: wow :).
You people, you, you Whedonesque delinquents complaining about how old you feel? Good Grief!! [ :=) ] The oldest person I counted was 27! Seriously though, I was in my late 30s when the show came on in 1997 and I do not feel old. That show energized me, actually gave me hope that many things are still possible in my life. Me, someone who would be considered by many at that time to be over the hill if they knew my a-g-e. Even now, I am often mistaken for 10-15 years younger than I am. I attribute that not only to my genes but for trying to maintain a youthful perspective instead of sinking down into despair, and Buffy vis a vis Joss Whedon got me there. That show was a gift to me and ultimately, I have a feeling, far better than daily infusions of Melatonin ("Damn kids, get off my LAWN!")
NileQT87 : i'm watching AtS right now. I just finished the second season.
You missed QuoterGal upthread, Tonya J. And I'm right behind her age-wise. At 40 I thought the movie was cute and wondered what they'd do with the TV series. I started with the pilot and never looked back. To this day the only episode I hadn't seen on the day it aired is Willow's punishment of Warren -- and I still haven't seen that. Not deliberately, just haven't reached it in my currently-on-hold rewatch. ;)
Ok, ok. I've been reading this thread but wasn't going to say anything because I'm quite sure I've told my Buffy-discovery story before, but I can't resist now that the folks who are more, um, my age are chiming in. I was in my late 30s when I started watching my brother's Buffy dvds about 10 years ago. I had pretty much not watched TV since childhood--loved movies but thought TV was all garbage. Now I'm a hopeless TV addict. Thanks, Joss.

And the story continues! My 16-year-old daughter loves all things Joss, and has turned several of her friends into Buffy (and Firefly) fans.
Thanks for linking that, QuoterGal. I enjoyed it the first time, and yet again. And still find myself wondering about the Absinthe. ;) reiterate Whedon is GOD(alone it's a great statement, as a name it's awesome!!) I feel the same way...I can't help but cry when I watch certain scenes or hear certain lines of dialogue, or even watch the actors' expressions, everyone on the show did such a great job at making it feel human, something no one else has really achieved! One of the writers(can't remember which one) said in an interview about the dialogue in the show something like, "I bet lots of teens wish 35 year olds wrote their dialogue"...I know they definitely assisted mine!!
pat32082 I'm right there with you. I've rewatched the seasons countless times, and without fail I still cry at the Body and the Gift. I still cry when Buffy kills Angel, I still shout with joy when he comes back. I feel for and with these characters, even in comic form!
Heck, I just got my wisdom teeth out and while coming out of my drugged up stupor from being knocked out, I thought I was a slayer and was anxious to return to my scoobies.
...then again, maybe that just makes me crazy?
Love your origin story, QG!
Ooh, thanks for the linky backwards Quotergal, I enjoyed it muchly. I have no absinthe handy, but sipping on orange juice, here is my Introduction to Buffy:

I was in my mid-twenties, televisionless on a wee island between Japan and Saipan (but technically part of Japan) and read a review on of the S6 finale. Oops, spoilerific! I thought the show sounded intriguing, and then that summer I was staying with my then-boyfriend-now-husband in Tokyo and saw he had S1 and S2 on DVD (he'd been a fan in college but thought I wouldn't like it!). He was very excited when I suggested that we watch, and showed me a random selection - starting with "The Pack." I was enjoying it in a moderate sort of way until we got to "Innocence" and "Surprise". Then I was hooked and insisted we start over and watch in order. Only the first two seasons were out on DVD so we bought the next few seasons on VHS over e-bay. S5 came first, and we couldn't resist watching it right away, then watched 3 and 4. It was like we were junkies. While I looked for a job and an apartment by day, we spent our evenings cross-legged on the tatami in front of his television (he had no furniture for some reason), hoarsely tempting each other at 3am, "let's just watch one more.". 6 and 7 we saw on DVD when they came out. Of course, I already knew how S6 ended. So I watched the whole series totally spoiled, totally out of order, and once the last episode was done I was so bereft, sadly sat googling "Joss Whedon" and "Buffy" and discovered This Place! Where everybody was talking about some Big Damn Movie. :)
catherine, that's great! And I thought that my Buffy discovery story was kinda strange.
It involves a man in my life, post-divorce, who was a huge Angel fan (so I actually watched AtS first - all but season 5).

Then an accident that led to two knee surgeries and being stuck on the couch enough to cause me to watch way more TV than I ever thought possible, and discovering BtS in re-runs.
Angel discovery man had told me that BtS wasn't worth the TV time. (He was out of the picture, by then, and just as well). ;_)

Didn't discover Firefly until re-runs on SciFi, so I got to watch it complete and in order.
I saw Serenity at the theater with my leg in a cast, from the second knee surgery.

Come to think of it, there does seem to be a bit of a "Whedony fate" feel to it all. :)

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